The best Bluetooth headsets 2018: top hands-free kit

Best Bluetooth Headset
Best Bluetooth Headset

To many people hands-free Bluetooth headsets seem a little over the top and unnecessary. But for many others who rely on their phone and make lots of calls each and everyday, they're a game-changer. 

Sure if you only had one or two calls to make per day you could pick up your phone each time, but if you need to make more than ten calls or thereabouts, it's going to be a hassle. Meaning you can say hello to hand strain and goodbye to multi-tasking.

That's why we've collected together the best of the best hands-free headsets that are comfortable to be worn for most of the day, are convenient to be used in a hurry and serve up good audio quality throughout. 

But although a good Bluetooth headset can make your constant calling life infinitely easier, once you go out searching for a great headset you’ll find that choosing the best Bluetooth headsets among the myriad knockoffs and imitations can be a pain. And even if there are some devices that look similar, the actual features and functionality can vary wildly.

But don’t worry, below you'll find the very best Bluetooth headsets currently available, and we've used our price comparison tool to help you find the top deals as well.

1. Plantronics Voyager 5200

Great for work and play

Weight: 2kg | Battery life: 7 hours | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 4.1

Sweatproof
Caller ID
Pricey

The Plantronics Voyager 5200 is one of the very best Bluetooth headsets around, from a brand name that is well respected when it comes to headsets. It's designed with comfort in mind, so you can wear it for extended periods without it bothering you and it sits securely in place too, so it won't fall off. It's also completely hands free, as caller ID will announce the name of whoever is calling you and you can simply say "answer" to take the call. Its noise-cancelling is effective even in busy environments and multiple microphones ensure strong voice quality, for a great all-round Bluetooth headset. Its also coated in sweat proof material which gives it a robustness that other Bluetooth headsets lack.

A photo of the sony headset

(Image: © Sony)

2. Sony MBH22

Smart, simple and reliable

Weight: 9.3g | Battery life: 6 hours talk time / 8 days standby | Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 4.2

Nice-looking, simple design
Easy to use
Better Bluetooth
Only one earpiece size

The Sony MBH20 headset used to sit at this point in our list. It was a simple, easy-to-use headset with good battery life, but it's since been replaced by the MBH22. Although they both have a similar, simple design, this latest model is packing some newer features. 

There are the same minimal buttons, but now there's a USB Type-C connector instead of an older microUSB port. It's still a good, comfortable fit although there is only one earpiece, which means that might not be the case for everyone. 

You can connect two phones at the same time to switch between calls if you're that in demand, as well as smart access to Google Assistant and Siri.

3. Plantronics Explorer 500

Compact and discrete

Weight: 7.5g | Battery life: 7 hours | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 4.1

Very light
Good voice cancelling
No caller ID

Plantronics simply makes phenomenal Bluetooth headsets, which is why it should come as no surprise that this isn’t the first Plantronics headset to make it on the list of the best Bluetooth headsets, and it certainly won’t be the last. The Plantronics  Explorer 500 is built to be compact and discreet, but there is a huge amount of tech built into this tiny package, including three microphones and a boom arm for stellar voice quality. Its small size does mean its battery life isn't exactly on the same level as some competitors, but at seven hours of talk time it's still very passable. 

4. Jabra Stealth

Small and stylish

Weight: 7.9g | Battery life: 6 hours | Wireless range: 10m | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 4

Comfortable
Nice design
Volume control is fiddly

The Jabra Stealth is one of the nicest designed Bluetooth headsets in our roundup, and not only does it look good, it also feels comfortable to wear. It's not quite as small and unnoticeable as its name suggests, but with such a nice design, you won't really mind that much. Perhaps most importantly, sound quality on this headset is excellent, and it does a good job of limiting background noise picked up by its mic as well. This is definitely a Bluetooth headset worth investing in if you rely on voice-free calls. 

5. Sennheiser Presence UC

Multi-connectivity headset

Weight: 13g | Battery life: 10 hours | Wireless range: 25m | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 4.0

Can connect to phone and laptop at same time for easy switching
Good range
Not the most comfortable to wear

The Sennheiser Presence UC is a brilliant Bluetooth headset if you work in a fast-paced environment where you need to multitask, as it has a multi-connectivity feature that connects to both your phone and computer, so you can quickly switch between the two. It has very good sound and recording quality, and talk time is also very impressive. It's not the most comfortable headset, however, so if you need something that you're going to wear all day, then something like the Jabra Motion will be better suited to your needs. 

6. Jabra Steel

A robust headset for outdoor use

Weight: 10g | Battery life: 6 hours | Wireless range: 30m | NFC: Yes | Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 4.1

Rugged design
Good noise cancellation
Sound quality not the best
No physical volume control buttons

If you work outside in noisy environments, and need a robust Bluetooth headset that can eliminate background sounds, then the Jabra Steel is the best Bluetooth headset for you. Resistant to dust, dirt and water, it can also survive high drops, making it an excellent headset for outdoor use - and it comes with a 5 year warranty as well. It also features aggressive noise cancellation which will make your voice calls nice and clear, even if you work somewhere where there is a lot of background noise. Sadly, though, there's no physical volume control buttons on the actual headset, which makes it a bit annoying if you need to adjust loudness.

Best Bluetooth headsets

7. Plantronics M70

Small price, big features

Weight: 8g | Battery life: 11 hours | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 3.0

Low price
Long battery life
Not the most stylish design
Only Bluetooth 3.0

The Plantronics M70 is the successor to the popular M55, and like its forbear, it is a budget headset, but you get a lot for your money. While it doesn't have a premium build it's perfectly comfortable to wear, it supports voice commands for truly hands-free use and the sound quality is good, especially when aided by the built in noise-cancelling tech. The M70 also has a DeepSleep mode which activates when it's separated from a paired smartphone for 90 minutes and leaves it with up to five months of battery life, but simply bring your phone within range and it will quickly wake up again.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Plantronics Voyager Edge 

Best Bluetooth headsets

8. Jabra Wave

A great Bluetooth headset for chatterboxes

Weight: 13.3g | Battery life: 8 hours | Wireless range: 10m | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 3.0

Good battery life
Comfortable
Large
Showing its age

With a talk time of over eight hours the Jabra Wave is a Bluetooth headset which just keeps going and going, making it a great choice if you're going to be away from a charger for an extended period. Its fairly large size means it's not the most discreet of headsets, but it's a worthwhile trade-off for all that battery life. It also features strong audio quality and is good at suppressing noise, especially wind. Add to that easy pairing and the ability to connect it to two devices at once and the Jabra Wave is a good option.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Plantronics Voyager Edge